MIDWEEK SPORT '“ Lights go out on Poppies as Diamonds hit back with a win
Kettering Town were denied a potential opportunity to upset Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division leaders Leamington after the floodlights failed at their Phillips 66 Community Stadium with the Poppies leading 1-0.
The Poppies, who were without the injured Aaron O’Connor, started well and Liam Bateman saw a 35-yard strike go just past the post.
Leamington had claims for a penalty waved away after Ahmed Obeng went down in the area but the Poppies were awarded a spot-kick when former Kettering man Courtney Baker-Richardson brought down Liam Canavan.
And Nathan Hicks stepped up to send Tony Breeden the wrong way from 12 yards.
But with just a couple of minutes to go before half-time the floodlights, reported as being the same ones that went out when Leamington were losing to Chesham earlier in the season, failed.
Then, after a delay, the referee abandoned the clash just after 9pm.
The Poppies will now hope to return to action when they take on Merthyr Town at Latimer Park on Saturday.
AFC Rushden & Diamonds bounced back from their weekend defeat as they moved back into the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One South play-off places with a 3-0 victory over strugglers Rugby Town at the Dog & Duck.
Diamonds opened the scoring after seven minutes when Sam Brown’s long throw from the right was flicked on by Rory Winters and Tom Lorraine nodded into the corner.
Rugby went close to an equaliser when Tre Braithwaite’s free-kick struck the crossbar but Diamonds continued to pose the bigger threat and Fazel Koriya had a close-range effort saved while Nabil Shariff almost bundled an effort home before the break.
Diamonds’ cause was helped on the hour when Rugby’s Mitchell Thomson was sent-off for a second bookable offence but the hosts struggled to carve out any clear-cut chances until Shariff had a header cleared off the line.
Dan Jezeph denied Shariff from close-range but substitute Taylor Orosz sparked Diamonds into life and his shot was saved by Jezeph with Fazel Koriya there to score into an empty net.
And then, in stoppage-time, Orosz raced away again and this time produced a fine low finish to wrap things up.